Best Value Laptop Around $400

Netbooks Under 400
Best Value gaming laptop around the $400 price point can be a real challenge to find as most graphics card sport less than the Intel HD 4000, but here are three just slightly above $400 and well worth the price.

Looking for really dirt cheap laptop is not a problem as there are many that go for less than $300 when new, but none of them are gaming laptops.  If you are looking to play the most demanding RPG and FSP games of 2009 even at the lowest game settings, laptops in the price range simply can’t do the job with their APUs mostly integrated with Intel HD Graphic 300 GPU.

It has been our observation that laptops using the Intel HD Graphics 4000 are the starting point for a gaming laptop.  Even then, many of the games released in 2011 and earlier will play but only at the lowest possible game settings and graphics card resolution.  Battlefield 3, however will not play .Crysis 3 released this year will not play, neither will earlier games like Hitman: Absolution, Assassin’s Creed III, Max Payne 3, Dishonored and Elder Scrolls V.

Having said that, we look at laptops just around the $400 price point and found a few models that sport the Intel HD Graphics 4000 at the very least.  They should be able to satisfy the most budget conscious casual gamers and those who don’t mind playing 2011 games at their lower settings.

Gaming laptops are easily the top-of- the-line models in every computer brand.  But for the really budget-challenged casual gamers, the fact that there are laptops below the $400 price point can be quite tempting to consider them as possibly proving a rewarding casual gaming experience.  Sadly, over the long term, most laptops below this price point would not be able to satisfy a casual gamer who will not bother playing a Pacman, Digger or a Poker game.

The defining threshold for us are laptops powered by the Intel HD Graphics 4000 GPU which is a low-tier Class 3 category GPU often used by newly released budget laptops in the $500 to $900 price range and integrated with several dual and quad core Intel CPUs.  They can play some demanding games in the low-to-medium game settings and often with reduced HD resolution at their lowest possible point (1366 x 768).  Class 3 category GPUs that can be found in some laptops in the $400 to $500 price ranges are shown highlighted in the Table 1.

Table 1: Laptop graphics cards in the Class 3 category above the Intel HD Graphics 4000 Threshold.

laptopunder400 specs

 

Highlighted rows indicate models of graphics cards some of which can be found in affordable including those at the $800 price point. 

A closer look at the gaming laptop markets reveal that laptops below the $400 price point generally use the much lower Intel HD Graphics 3000,  2500, 2000 or, in the case of Asus, mostly Intel GMA graphics and generic Intel HD graphics for Sandy and Ivy bridge CPUS. They can hardly play any of the demanding FSP and RPG games released as late as 2011even at low game settings, except Fifa 12 and 11, World of Warcraft, Sims 3, Resident Evil 5, Half-Life 2 Counter-Strike Source and StarCraft 2 which play respectably at low game settings.  On the other hand, our threshold GPU and equivalent discrete graphics engines can be found in a few laptops in the $400 to $500 range with most models heavily discounted as old inventory or as previously owned or used.

Now what exactly can a laptop in this price range play?  Table 2 puts a snapshot of what most laptops can play using this GPU.  These are just indicative and have been averaged out in benchmarks using several laptops as some models may be able to play or not play the games indicated depending on CPU and GPU configuration.

Table 2: Gaming abilities of laptops using the Intel HG Graphics 4000 in terms of FPS (Frames per second) for select game titles

400laptop specs

 

 

It is clear from Table 2 that the minimum Intel HD Graphics 4000 can play several of the most demanding games at low to medium game detail settings.  The older games typically from 2011 and earlier fare better.  For purposes of this listing of reasonably competent laptops around the $400 price point, we looked only at those using the Intel HD Graphics 4000 or better graphics cards.  There are many that use lower graphics card, so unless you don’t mind playing any of the games in Table 2 above, they can be good options for a casual gamer. In addition, while we would think that budget laptops with the Intel HD Graphics 4000 may have smaller screens, we were surprised that most laptops in this price range have 15-inch display. Here are a few samples of what we’ve found so far:

Some of the Best Value Laptop Around $400

1. ASUS VivoBook 15 Thin and Light Laptop

ASUS VivoBook 15 Thin and Light Laptop

Best Value Laptop Around $400

Whether at work or play, ASUS Vivo Book 15 is the compact laptop that immerses you in whatever you set out to do. Its new frameless four-sided Nano Edge display boasts an ultra slim 5.7mm bezel, giving an amazing 88% screen-to-body ratio for supremely immersive visuals.

The Ergo Lift hinges design also tilts the keyboard up for more comfortable typing. Vivo Book 15 is powered by an Intel core i3 processor to help you get things done with the least amount of fuss.

The actual transfer speed of USB 3.0, 3.1, 3.2 (Gen 1 and 2), and/or Type-C will vary depending on many factors including the processing speed of the host device, file attributes and other factors related to system configuration and your operating environment. Batteries: 1 Lithium ion batteries required.

Highlighted Features:

  • 15.6 inch Full HD (1920×1080) 4-way NanoEdge bezel display with a stunning 88% screen-to-body ratio
  • Compatible with Google Classroom; run Google Classroom on Microsoft Edge or Internet Explorer 11
  • Latest 10th Gen Intel Core i3-1005G1 CPU (4M Cache, up to 3.4 GHz)
  • 8 GB DDR4 RAM and 128 GB PCIe NVMe M.2 SSD
  • Ergonomic backlit keyboard with fingerprint sensor activated via Windows Hello
  • Exclusive Ergolift design for an improved typing position
  • Comprehensive connections including USB 3.2 Type-C, USB 3.2 Type-A, USB 2.0, and HDMI; Gigabit Wi-Fi 5 (802.11ac) (USB Transfer speed may vary. Learn more at ASUS website)
  • Windows 10 in S mode exclusively runs apps from the Microsoft Store. To install an app that isn’t available in the Microsoft Store, simply switch out of S mode in three easy steps. There’s no charge to switch out of S mode

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2. HP 14″ HD Laptop Light-Weight

HP 14

Best Value Laptop Around $400

2021 Newest HP 14″ HD Laptop Light-Weight, AMD 3020e(Up to 2.6GHz), 8GB RAM, 128GB SSD + 64GB eMMC, 1 Year Office 365, WiFi, Bluetooth 5, USB Type-A&C, HDMI, Webcam, Win10, w/Ghost Manta Accessories

Highlighted Features:

  • 14″ HD(1366 x 768) Display with micro-edge bezel design, WLED-backlit, BrightView, Enjoy your entertainment with the great quality and high-definition detail of 1 million pixels
  • AMD 3020e, 2 Cores & 4 Thrades, 1.2GHz Base Clock, 2.6GHz Max Boost Clock, 4MB L3 Cache, 6W TDP, Built in 3 Cores Radeon Graphics, Experience high performance for all your entertainment
  • Substantial high-bandwidth RAM to smoothly run your games and photo- and video-editing applications, as well as multiple programs and browser tabs all at once
  • Speedy solid-state drive for seanless performance and reliable multitasking, allows you to store a large number of files, improving the reading speed of large files, ensuring daily use and the speed of opening large files, reduce the time of application and file loading
  • (About switch to regular Win10, see the detail in Product description) Activate pre-installed Office: 1.Launch any Office app > 2.Start your activation by signing in with your Microsoft account(Create a account if you don’t have one yet) > 3.Click “Activate Office” > 4.Sign in your account and follow the next prompts. > 5.Complete Step 1,2 and 3 > 6.Click on Refresh once Office is ready > 7.Open a document and accept the license agreement.

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3. Lenovo IdeaPad 3 Laptop

Lenovo IdeaPad 3 Laptop

Best Value Laptop Around $400

The Lenovo IdeaPad 3 14″ laptop is a notebook computer that combines performance with purpose. This lightweight PC pairs an AMD 5000 series processor with lightning-fast responsiveness with tailored learning and work from home solutions that address eye strain, posture problems, and at-home distractions. The 14-inch full HD IPS display offers an anti-glare screen and 4-side narrow bezels, which translate to one of the highest active area ratios of its class.

With integrated AMD Radeon™ 7 graphics, you’ll enjoy beautifully clear and vibrant images with wider viewing angles and less clutter. Enjoy two 1.5W speakers with Dolby Audio™ plus a 720p camera with dual microphone array for your next video chat or conference call. Plus, the new privacy shutter on the camera lets you reserve complete control over your privacy, so there’s no need to worry about malicious actors or accidentally leaving your webcam on.

The IdeaPad 3 laptop also deploys intelligent thermals for a cool and whisper-quiet system, allowing you to calibrate performance and battery life. With Q-control, you can cycle through three modes to match your performance needs. This Windows laptop offers hyper-efficient battery life and supports Rapid Charge, so you can enjoy hours of 1080p video streaming and personal productivity. The Lenovo IdeaPad 3 14″ laptop is the ultimate notebook to learn from home and beyond.

Highlighted Features:

  • Powerhouse performance from AMD Ryzen 5 5500U mobile processor, 8GB DDR4 RAM, 256GB SSD storage, and AMD Radeon 7 Graphics
  • The IdeaPad 3 14-inch laptop has 4-side narrow bezels that let you see more of the FHD (1920 x 1080) screen for wider viewing angles and less clutter
  • Quieter and cooler with intelligent thermals, plus you can calibrate performance with Q-control, with 3 modes to match your performance needs
  • Protect your webcam lens and guarantee your privacy with the built-in privacy shutter
  • WiFi 6 (2×2 802.11 ax) and Bluetooth 5.0 connectivity, plus USB, USB-C, and HDMI ports
  • Includes free 3-month trial of Xbox Game Pass Ultimate – Play over 100 high-quality PC games on Windows PC; includes iconic Bethesda games, new day one titles, and the EA Play on PC catalog

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4. MSI GF63 Thin 9SC-068 15.6″ Gaming Laptop

MSI GF63 Thin 9SC-068 15.6

Best Value Laptop Around $400

MSI GF63 THIN 9SC-068 15.6″ Thin bezel Gaming Laptop, Intel Core i5-9300h, NVIDIA GeForce GTX1650 [Max-Q], 8GB, 256GB NVMe SSD

Highlighted Features:

  • Display: 15.6″ Fhd (1920*1080), IPS-Level 60Hz 45%ntsc thin Bezel 1920×1080 16: 9
  • Graphics: NVIDIA GeForce GTX1650 [Max-Q] 4G GDDR5
  • Processor: Intel Core i5-9300h 2.4 – 4.1GHz
  • Memory: 8GB (8G*1) DDR4 2666MHz 2 Sockets; Max Memory 64GB
  • Storage: 256GB NVMe SSD

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5. ASUS Laptop L210 11.6” ultra thin

ASUS Laptop L210 11.6” ultra thin

Best Value Laptop Around $400

The ASUS Laptop L210MA is designed to help you be productive all day — even when you’re on the move. This compact and lightweight 11.6 inch laptop is powered by the latest Intel processor and provides long lasting battery life. With eMMC storage and pre-loaded Windows 10 in S mode, it offers full compatibility with a wide range of software and peripherals. It’s the best laptop for people on the go. *The actual transfer speed of USB 3.0, 3.1, 3.2 (Gen 1 and 2), and/or Type-C will vary depending on many factors including the processing speed of the host device, file attributes and other factors related to  system configuration and your operating environment.

Highlighted Features:

  • Efficient Intel Celeron N4020 Processor (4M Cache, up to 2.8 GHz)
  • 11.6” HD (1366 x 768) Slim Display
  • 64GB eMMC Flash Storage and 4GB DDR4 RAM
  • Windows 10 in S Mode with One Year of Microsoft 365 Personal
  • Slim and Portable: 0.7” thin and weighs only 2.2 lbs (battery included)

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6. Acer Aspire 1 15.6″ FHD Laptop Computer

Acer Aspire 1 15.6

Best Value Laptop Around $400

2021 Acer Aspire 1 15.6″ FHD Laptop Computer, Intel Celeron N4020 Processor, 4GB RAM, 64GB eMMC, 1 Year Office 365, Intel UHD Graphics 600, Webcam, HDMI, Win 10 S, Black, 128GB SnowBell USB Card which is come under 400 dollar laptop.

Highlighted Features:

  • 15.6″ FHD Display, 1920 x 1080 resolution boasts impressive color and clarity, Anti-glare Energy-efficient Widescreen LED.
  • Intel Celeron N4020 Processor, Ultra-low-voltage platform. Dual-core, two-way processing provides maximum high-efficiency power to go.
  • 4GB DDR4 RAM, Plenty of high-bandwidth RAM to smoothly run your games as well as multiple programs. 64GB eMMC flash memory, This ultracompact memory system is ideal for mobile devices and applications, providing enhanced storage capabilities, streamlined data management, quick boot-up times and support for high-definition video playback.
  • Standard Keyboard Allows you to enjoy comfortable and accurate typing. Intel UHD Graphics 600 with shared video memory provide solid image quality for Internet use, movies, basic photo editing and casual gaming. HD Audio with two stereo speakers & Built-in Camera with digital microphone.
  • Windows 10 Home in S Mode included. Lithium-Ion Battery, Up to 10-hours Battery Life, 14.31″ x 9.86″ x 0.78″, 4.19 lbs. 2x USB 2.0 ports, 1x USB 3.1 Gen 1 Port,, 1x HDMI output expands your viewing options, 1x Headphone/microphone combo jack, 1x RJ-45. Wireless-AC and Bluetooth, Black, Bonus 128GB SnowBell USB Card.

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7. Lenovo IdeaPad 1 Laptop

Lenovo IdeaPad 1 Laptop

Best Value Laptop Around $400

The Lenovo IdeaPad™ 1 is your daily computing companion. Not only does this affordable laptop deliver amazing performance with an Intel® Celeron® processor, but it also features 64 GB M.2 PCIe SSD storage and a bigger, wider 14-inch HD display for great productivity. Browse the internet, stream your favorite shows, chat with family, or get work done on this reliable notebook computer. With a stylish Ice Blue case, this everyday laptop is easy to use and durable, with long battery life to let you handle daily tasks easily.

Great for students, travelers, and those who like to work from home or the local coffee shop, the IdeaPad 1 is lightweight at just over 3 lbs and is less than 1 inch thick, so it’s easy to slip into your Lenovo laptop backpack or carrying sleeve. Plus, with up to 8 hours of battery life, you can stay productive no matter where you are! You’ll stay connected with integrated WiFi and Bluetooth® while on the go.

Highlighted Features:

  • This everyday laptop is powered by an Intel Celeron N4020 processor, 4GB DDR4 RAM, and 164 GB M.2 PCIe SSD storage
  • Microsoft 365 is included (1 year subscription); includes free 3-month trial of Xbox Game Pass Ultimate – Play over 100 high-quality PC games on Windows PC; includes iconic Bethesda games, new day one titles, and the EA Play on PC catalog
  • Enjoy videos or browse online on a large 14″ HD display panel, framed by narrow bezels, while Dolby Audio delivers crystal-clear sound through the built-in dual stereo speakers
  • Light and slim, this Windows 11 laptop computer (S mode) weighs just over 3 lbs and is less than 1 inch thick
  • WiFi 802.11 ac and Bluetooth 4.1 connectivity; ports include 2 x USB 3.1 Gen 12 (Type-A), microSD Card Reader; HDMI; Microphone / Earphone Combo

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8. ASUS Laptop L510 Ultra Thin Laptop

ASUS Laptop L510 Ultra Thin Laptop

Best Value Laptop Around $400

The ASUS Laptop L510MA is designed to help you be productive all day — even when you’re on the move. This compact and lightweight 14 inch laptop is powered by the latest Intel® processor and provides long lasting battery life.

With eMMC storage and pre-loaded Windows 10 in S mode, it offers full compatibility with a wide range of software and peripherals. It’s the best laptop for people on the go.

*The actual transfer speed of USB 3.0, 3.1, 3.2 (Gen 1 and 2), and/or Type-C will vary depending on many factors including the processing speed of the host device, file attributes and other factors related to  system configuration and your operating environment. For Free Windows 11 upgrade eligible devices, visit ASUS Windows 11 website for more information.

Highlighted Features:

  • Efficient Intel Celeron N4020 Processor (4M Cache, up to 2.8 GHz)
  • 15.6” FHD (1920×1080) Display
  • 128GB eMMC Flash Storage and 4GB DDR4 RAM
  • Comes with Windows 10 in S mode and a FREE upgrade to Windows 11 (when available1)
  • Slim and Portable: 0.72” thin and weighs only 3.59 lbs (battery included)

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9. Acer Aspire 5 Slim Laptop

Acer Aspire 5 Slim Laptop

Best Value Laptop Around $400

Acer Aspire 5 A515-43-R19L comes with these high level specs: AMD Ryzen 3 3200U Dual-Core Processor 2.6GHz with Precision Boost up to 3.5GHz (Up to 4MB L3 Cache), Windows 10 in S mode, 15.6″ Full HD (1920 x 1080) widescreen LED-backlit IPS Display, AMD Radeon Vega 3 Mobile Graphics, 4GB DDR4 Memory, 128GB PCIe NVMe SSD

True Harmony Technology, Two Built-in Stereo Speakers, Acer Purified. Voice Technology with Two Built-in Microphones, 802.11ac Wi-Fi featuring 2×2 MIMO technology (Dual-Band 2.4GHz and 5GHz), 10/100/1000 Gigabit Ethernet LAN (RJ-45 port), Bluetooth 4.0, Back-lit Keyboard, HD Webcam (1280 x 720)

1 x USB 3.1 Gen 1 Port, 2 – USB 2.0 Ports, 1 – HDMI Port with HDCP support, Lithium-Ion Battery, up to 7.5-hours Battery Life,, 3.97 lbs. | 1.8 kg (system unit only) (NX.HG8AA.001).Store your PC in a cool, dry place. The recommended temperature is 10° C (50° F) to 30° C (86° F). Higher temperatures cause the battery to self-discharge faster.

Highlighted Features:

  • AMD Ryzen 3 3200U Dual Core Processor (Up to 3.5GHz); 4GB DDR4 Memory; 128GB PCIe NVMe SSD
  • 15.6 inches full HD (1920 x 1080) widescreen LED backlit IPS display; AMD Radeon Vega 3 Mobile Graphics
  • 1 USB 3.1 Gen 1 port, 2 USB 2.0 ports & 1 HDMI port with HDCP support
  • 802.11ac Wi-Fi; Backlit Keyboard; Up to 7.5 hours battery life
  • Windows 10 in S mode. Maximum power supply wattage: 65 Watts

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10. Acer Aspire 5 A515-56-36UT

Acer Aspire 5 A515-56-36UT

Best Value Laptop Around $400

It’s all about the innovation. Acer products are designed for your needs and accessibility with powerful features fit for your lifestyle. The Aspire 5 packs a lot of power into the portable design to suit the multi-tasking needs of you and your family. The powerful 11th Gen Intel Core i3 processor is great for light gaming, productivity, and work tasks.

Enjoy photo and video editing on the color-rich 15.6-inch Full HD display with Intel UHD Graphics. You can turn this Acer Aspire 5 into a virtual meeting room with an HD webcam and dual built-in microphones using Acer Purified.

Voice Technology to carry your conversation clearly. Whether video chatting, streaming entertainment, or working in the home office, you’ll stay connected to your network with dual-band Wi-Fi 6 working intelligently with your router to increase network efficiency.

An ergonomic lifted keyboard makes working on this Acer Aspire 5 laptop more comfortable. (NX.AASAA.002).

Highlighted Features:

  • Powerful Productivity: 11th Generation Intel Core i3-1115G4 processor delivers unmatched speed and intelligence, enabling impressive creating, productivity, and gaming experiences. With Turbo Boost Technology, get up to 4.1GHz for your high-demand applications
  • Visibly Stunning: Experience sharp details and crisp colors on the 15.6″ Full HD display with 82.58% screen-to-body, 16:9 aspect ratio and narrow bezels
  • Ergonomic Typing: Ergonomically-designed hinge lifts the keyboard for comfortable typing, improved cooling, and a better sound experience
  • Internal Specifications: 4GB DDR4 on-board memory (1 slot available); 128GB NVMe solid-state drive storage (1 hard drive bay available) to store your files and media
  • Acer’s Purified.Voice technology, features enhanced digital signal processing to cancel out background noise, improve speech accuracy and far-field pickup, which not only makes calls clearer, but makes talking to Alexa easier than before.
  • Using Alexa on your PC is as easy as asking a question. Just ask and Alexa can check your calendar, create lists, play music, answer questions, read the news and more.
  • Secure Operating System: Windows 11 Home (S Mode) comes with advanced security features built right in, like protections against phishing and malicious software so you don’t have to think twice when navigating to a new webpage or downloading an app

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11. Lenovo Thinkpad Yoga 11e Laptop

Lenovo Thinkpad Yoga 11e Laptop

Best Value Laptop Around $400

Lenovo Thinkpad Yoga 11e Laptop 11.6inch Touchscreen Convertible Ultrabook PC, Intel Quad Core Processor, 128GB Solid State Drive, 4GB DDR3 RAM, HD Webcam, LED, HDMI, Bluetooth, Windows 10 (Renewed)

Highlighted Features:

  • Everything you ever need for an ultra-durable and portable laptop: Intel Quad-Core Processor, HD LED-backlit IPS Touchscreen, 128GB SSD, Windows 10 Home and much more, in a legendary reliable 11-inch ThinkPad Yoga 2-in-1 convertible ultrabook
  • Intel N3150 Processor (2M Cache 1. 6GHz , 4GB DDR3 memory (support up to 8GB) | 128GB SSD storage Hard Drive
  • 11. 6″ HD LED-backlit IPS Touchscreen (1366×768) Display, Integrated webcam, NO Optical Drive, 4-Cell (35 WHr) Lithium-Ion
  • Windows 10 Home 64-bit English Operating System; Intel 802. 11 AC Dual Band WiFi, Integrated Bluetooth 4. 0; 1 USB 3. 0 port, 1 USB 2. 0 port, Combo 1 Headphone/Mic Jack, 1 HDMI, 1 Ethernet RJ-45, 720P HD Webcam, Dolby Advanced Audio v2

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12. ASUS VivoBook 15 F515

ASUS VivoBook 15 F515

Best Value Laptop Around $400

ASUS VivoBook 15 F515 Thin and Light Laptop, 15.6” FHD Display, Intel Core i3-1005G1 Processor, 4GB DDR4 RAM, 128GB PCIe SSD, Fingerprint Reader, Windows 10 Home in S Mode, Slate Grey, F515JA-AH31 which is come under 400 dollar laptop.

Highlighted Features:

  • 15.6 inch Full HD NanoEdge bezel display with stunning 83% screen-to-body ratio
  • Powerful Intel Core i3-1005G1 Processor 1.2 GHz (4M Cache, up to 3.4 GHz)
  • 4GB DDR4 RAM and 128GB PCIe NVMe M.2 SSD and Windows 10 Home in S Mode
  • Ergonomic backlit keyboard along with a fingerprint sensor activated via Windows Hello
  • Comprehensive connections including fingerprint sensor, USB 3.2 Type-A (Gen1), USB 3.2 Type-C (Gen1), USB 2.0, SD card reader, and HDMI
  • Comes with Windows 10 and a FREE upgrade to Windows 11 (when available1)

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Conclusion

Unless you are looking for slightly used or refurbished laptops with decent gaming capability, there are just a few notable laptops  below $400 that can be considered decently muscled enough to serve as gaming laptop even for casual gamers.  Don’t expect the most demanding RPG and FSP games of recent releases to be played seamlessly at medium to high game settings which is what the integrated Intel HD Graphics 4000 or equivalent can’t do.  At best, some can play at low to medium game settings while requiring  you to go down the a notch in resolution setting. Some models had enjoyed some discounts to fall below the $400 price point, though. The other three specimens are close enough with the most expensive at $458.99.

Here are a few other notebooks that can handle current PC games well, as well:

Last update on 2022-11-17 / Affiliate links / Images from Amazon Product Advertising API

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